Exciting New Champagnes (and Wines) From André Beaufort!

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In my early years in wine retail, I sold vast quantities of "brand-name" Champagnes, but I really didn't understand the phenomenon. They mostly tasted like bad wine with bubbles - with some lovely exceptions, of course. Fortunately we now have a choice of superb estate-bottled wines, from properties that work well in the vineyards and with minimal intervention in the cellar, producing real Champagnes of terroir. Some of the most interesting and delicious examples come from André Beaufort, an estate that has been organic since 1971 and produces some of the most distinctive and vinous Champagnes available. These are big, bold, earthy wines based primarily on Pinot Noir, with a larger than fashionable dosage and very long sur-lie aging. Fermentations are with wild yeasts, with minimal SO2 added only at disgorgement. The Beaufort's farming is outstanding - they avoid even the organically approved treatments for rot and mildew, as they can be harmful to soil flora and fauna, prefering to use homeopathic treatments of their own production. They only use  fertilizers and natural composts, which maintain humus and stimulate the life of the soil, increasing soil permeability and humidity.

Our tasting with Jaques Beaufort last January was a fabulous experience, including some wonderful surprises that are included in this shipment. We particularly enjoyed the 1998 Polisy Brut, the 2003 Polisy Rosé and the simply superb 1996 Ambonnay Demi-Sec, but all of these distinctive wines are worth trying - bravo to the Beauforts for their great vineyard work and these unusual, powerful and distinctive Champagnes from living soils! (Wines arrive April 10th, quantities are very limited)

Beaufort, André NV Champagne Grand Cru Brut Rosé (Disg 10/16)

This full-bodied and robust Rosé Champagne is expressive of Pinot Noir character as well as natural and chemical-free winemaking, a rare combination, especially in Champagne. The nose offers ripe sour cherry, cherry pit, quinine, almost Burgundian earthiness, and an ever so slight note of bitter herbs reminiscent of amaro. Cherry fruit carries through the mid-palate to the finish, which is downright tannic, in the best possible way. There is some dosage here, giving the wine a compelling balance of acid and sweetness. It's a fairly serious Rosé Champagne, one that could accompany a meal, but it doesn't present itself as austere in any way. Unique within our selection of Rosé Champagnes and well-worth trying. (Lot 11A. Disgorged 10/2016.)

  • rosé sparkling
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $57.99

  • Organic

Beaufort, André 2002 Champagne Polisy Brut Nature

A sensational mature Champagne from André Beaufort - the estate converted to organic agriculture in the early 70's and makes brilliant, full-bodied Champagnes that are among the most "vinous" being made today. Medium golden yellow in color and sporting a discrete mousse. The nose is quite floral with tones of cherry blossoms, apple blossoms, and irises before touches of quince and fresh baguette. The palate is concentrated with a spherical and laser-like focus that offers notes of lemon sorbet, tart lemon custard, and apple pie, underlined by a fine minerality that persists through to a rounded, savory finish. Really a very pretty and lovely wine. This medium bodied Champagne is made of approximately 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and was disgorged in March 2017 after 14 years of sur-lie aging, illustrating the Beauforts' commitment to releasing mature wines.

  • white sparkling
  • 9 in stock
  • no discount
  • $76.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Beaufort, André 1996 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay Demi-Sec

Towards the end of the tasting my notes became minimal, but this wine rated an enthusiastic "Superb!" Forget your prejudice against demi-sec Champagnes, this wine is fantastically complex and delicious. The French wine publication “Le Rouge et le Blanc,” in their review of André Beaufort, offers an explanation of how dosage seems to help the wines develop: “the aromas, timid in their youth, finish by exploding with age and the sugar becomes like a support to the aromas.” Only a few bottles available – we urge you to try it! (Notes from Jan 2017: "Super, rich, no flaws, Nearly sweet, wonderful, rich, complex nose. Totally fresh, or at least not old or even aging...") (new inventory disgorged June 2017)

  • white sparkling off-dry
  • 10 in stock
  • no discount
  • $133.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
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Beaufort 2010 Champagne Polisy Brut Reserve

The Polisy Brut Reserve 2010 is a full and lively Champagne with lovely pear, bread and floral aromas, with honeysuckle and exotic fruit  and a full-bodied palate with notes of citrus confit, brown spice and stone. As with all the Beaufort wines, there is terrific length and concentration due to their many years of organic farming and low yields. The extremely low level of SO2 in the wine also contributes to its purity.  It's worth noting that Polisy is a village in the southern part of Champagne, the Aube, where the soil is heavier in limestone than the chalk-laden soil of Ambonnay. The Beaufort family planted vines in Polisy in the 1960s and the results we've tasted since our relationship with Beaufort began have been stunning. Great value — and a great food wine as well, serve with fish, white meats and full-flavored cheeses... This Champagne has enough minerality to age beautifully for many years to come! (Disgorged 4/15, Lot # 10P).

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $46.99

  • Organic

Beaufort NV Champagne Grand Cru Brut Reserve

Based on the 2008 vintage, recently disgorged, this is an elegant Grand Cru Champagne with earthy white fruit and herbal aromas. The palate is balanced and quite rich with earth, spice, quince and mineral flavors backed by firm acidity. A complex wine that will be great at the table with any full-flavored fish, poultry or pork dish.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $51.99

  • Biodynamic

Beaufort 1996 Champagne Grand Cru Ambonnay

It is a gift to have access to recently disgorged wine from such an extraordinary vintage. Almost 18 years spent on the lees before disgorgement (August 2014) add textural depth, but are barely perceptible aromatically; an expansive but precise bouquet of tallow, mountain honey and marzipan carry over to the palate, along with acidulous lemon and ripe stone-fruit. Wholly possessed of the striking contrast between ripeness, acidity and salinity that is the hallmark of the vintage; a little bit of oxygen exposure won’t hurt, nor will another decade in the cellar. -jmw

1996 has proven to be a banner vintage in Champagne, Jacques Beaufort's blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from his Grand Cru Ambonnay vineyards is a prime example. Light golden yellow and color and discretely moussed, the aromas begin with ripe red peaches, molasses, and honeysuckle before expanding to lighty toasted bread, graham crackers, Red D'Anjou pears, and dark chocolate. An impeccably poised palate is held by a backbone of minerality and verve that speaks of lemongrass, white tea, and a finish of fresh blueberries and cream. (Disgorged 8/2014, Lot n. 96A). David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $139.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $66.99

Beaufort 2002 Coteaux Champenois Rouge (still wine)

We're very happy to have received the last few cases of the Beaufort's 2002 Coteaux Champenois Rouge. From a successful vintage in Champagne, this wine speaks of cool climate Pinot Noir with lots of tangy berry fruit expressing itself on the nose, the mid-palate, and the finish. The wine tastes very young for its age, with firm structure and a minerally backbone. The fruit shows as the wine opens up to reveal a velvety texture and a sense of fruit skins and fruit seeds. It's a very lovely wine, one that will certainly appeal to fans of cool climate reds. Certainly, if you need to stump your fellow Burgundy lovers at a blind tasting, here is your bottle. -msb

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $54.99

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $99.99

  • Biodynamic